Willie Salutes Sinatra: Return of the Gentleman’s Code

SKF NOTE: Willie Nelson, one of my favorite musicians, released his new album today, a tribute to Frank Sinatra titled, “My Way.”

Last night, prior to today’s album release, I listened to Willie sing “One for My Baby (And One More for the Road) from his new album. What a classic tune. Music by Harold Arlen, words by the one-and-only Johnny Mercer. Boy, could Mercer write lyrics. He was a good songwriter too.

In the very early 1970s I first heard the song “One for My Baby” on Frank Sinatra’s “Live at the Sands” album and loved everything about it. Soon I was singing the song, brushes in hand, sitting behind my Gretsch drumset at The Steamboat Lounge, Nicky’s Tavern, and almost every other place I played.

Willie gets my two thumbs up for his rendition of “One for My Baby.” Yes, his 85-year old voice is weaker, scratchy, and can’t hit all the notes he once hit. But to my ears, Willie’s voice — heck, his entire 85-year old musicianship — adds to the song much more than it detracts.

I bought my copy of Willie’s “My Way” and look forward to listening to it. By the way, whatever happened to the “Gentleman’s Code“?

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